National Tourism Day: Here are some lesser-known facts about India
National Tourism Day in India is celebrated every January 25, to promote the tourism industry in the country, and to recognise the contribution of the sector in the growth and sustainability of the local communities in and around the tourist places.
On this day, YS Weekender brings to you some of the lesser-known facts about the Indian tourism industry:
- According to Statista, in 2019, about 18 million international tourists and non-resident Indians arrived in India. Prior to that, in 2018, approximately 17 million international travellers landed in India, of which three million tourists were received at the Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi, itself.
- Reports suggest that the travel and tourism industry in India contributed to around $247 billion to the country's GDP in 2018. The number is expected to grow to $512 billion by 2029.
- India houses 38 world heritage sites that includes 30 cultural properties, seven natural properties, and one mixed site (Khangchendzonga National Park).
- India is home to one of the seven wonders of the world — Taj Mahal. The memorial built by Emperor Shah Jahan for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal represents architectural styles of Persia, Islam, Turkey, and India. It is considered a perfect specimen of Islamic art and architecture.
- India's only live volcano lies in Bay of Bengal's Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Situated in the Barren Islands, north-east of Port Blair, the volcano became active in 1991 and has been erupting lava ever since.
- The Sentinelese of Andaman and Nicobar islands are the world's most isolated tribe. The indigenous tribe resists all contacts with outsiders and attacks anyone who tries to go near them. The Sentinelese reside in the North Sentinal Island.
- The Kumbh Mela is the largest historic peaceful gathering of people in one place for a single event. Kumbh Mela recorded the largest foot-fall in 2019, when 50 million people visited the pilgrimage.
- India hosts the largest tiger population in the world. In 2018, the tiger population in India was estimated to be more than 3,000.
- Built in 1893, Chail Cricket Ground is the highest cricket ground in the world — situated at the altitude of 7,380 feet above the sea level.
- India has the highest number of post offices in the world. It also houses a floating post office in Jammu and Kashmir's Dal Lake. It is believed to be one of its kind.
- After China, India is the second-largest producer of tea. India is estimated to produce 1.25 million tonnes of tea every year, the crop being popularly grown in Darjeeling, Nilgiri, and Assam.
- Uttar Pradesh's Gorakhpur Junction is the world's longest station platform in the world. It is 1,355.40 metres long.
- India is home to one of the six matriarchal societies in the world. In Khasi, Meghalaya, mothers look after the children. Once married, the women pass on their surname, instead of their husband's.
Edited by Kanishk Singh